By Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan
SIXTH May marks the 35th Unification Anniversary of the Armed Forces of United Arab Emirates which symbolizes the Federation and the national unity. On May 6, 1976 a historic decision was made to unify the Armed Forces of the Emirates towards a sublime goal: defend the UAE and its national achievements.
The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Islamabad H.E. Saif Al Awani along with the Military Attaché Colonel (Staff )Abdulla Mohammed Al Kabbi are celebrating this auspicious occasion on 9th May.
The unification of the armed forces has strengthened the Federation, developed and upgraded the armed forces in all aspects and acquired vast knowledge in the military field unleashed a comprehensive process to bring in state-of-the-art weaponry and acquire the most modern military field skills. The founders of the modern UAE late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid al Maktoum ushered in a new phase in the march of the UAE Armed Forces.
Reports which appeared in the UAE “Dira’ Al Watan” magazine on the event highlighted the UAE’s armed forces’ success in adopting modern defence systems and technologies in a relatively short period of time. It also highlights salient features of strong defence, self-reliance and deterrence.
In his speech to Dira’ Al Watan Magazine on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Armed Forces unification, the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the unification of UAE’s Armed forces was a milestone in building the modern institutional state, empowering the federal experience, protecting its drive forward and instilling a deep sense of confidence in its citizens. The President assured that this is an occasion to reassert that this treasured anniversary will remain a celebrated milestone in our blessed march and a qualitative shift in enhancing our federation, consolidating its strong tenets and developing its entities.
The President asserted the value of rightness which is might and importance the rule of law. Moreover, Sheikh Khalifa hailed the contributory role of the armed forces in regional and international humanitarian missions, medical assistance campaigns and contribution to UN peacekeeping missions.
Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in his address to Dira’ Al Watan Magazine spoke highly about the importance and achievements of armed forces. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum paid rich tribute by saying that “You are the creme de la creme of our bountiful, benevolent, loving, optimistic and highly ambitious country”. He termed the celebration of the 35th unification of the Armed Forces a celebration also of a victorious march to mark the sky-high achievements”.
General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said the decision to unify ”our Armed Forces represents a landmark in the history of our nation and is the result of concerted national efforts”. He hailed the unwavering efforts of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan to create this federation, unify Armed Forces and equip them to the best standards with state-of-the-art technology and training”.
Lt Gen Hamad al Romaithi, the armed forces chief of staff. said modernisation was based not only on purely military terms, but also on absolute conviction that armed forces were the cornerstone of our federation, our identity, a main supplier of human resources and a guarantee for balanced all-out development which cannot be stable without a strong arm to defend it against any aggressor”.
Reports and analysis have highlighted the important role of the armed forces in the UAE and the region. The first and foremost is the duty of the Armed Forces remains the same, to defend the federaion of the UAE. Women are making their career in the military after graduating from Khawla Bint al Azwar Military School which was established in 1991.
The UAE Armed Forces have taken part in peace-keeping mission in Kosovo, Lebanon, Somalia, Albania, Yemen and Afghanistan.
The Armed Forces have played a major role in humanitarian assistance to many countries badly affected by natural calamities and contributed to the social welfare of its people.
Under the order of the President, UAE has allocated $100 million dollars to Pakistan for the construction of more than 51 schools (primary & seconday), technical institutions, several health care centres, building roads and bridges, infrastructure and supply of safe drinking water to the people of swat, South Waziristan, other North Western districts and the tribal area.The construction of such projects is in progress.
During the devastating floods in Pakistan last year, UAE Armed Forces successfully carried out grand operations of rescue, distribution of relief goods, and logistics to different parts of Pakistan.
Chinooks rigorously participated in the humanitarian assistance activities in the most flood affected regions of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochitsan. UAE Military Field Hospitals in many remote areas of the country treated thousands of affectees and launched effective vaccination campaigns to save children, women and elderly people from different diseases. Water purification plants were also set up to provide clean drinking water in the hard-hit areas.